Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders thinks
cable companies charge too much.
The senator from Vermont, who trails Hillary Clinton in the
race for the 2016 Democratic party nomination, joined three
other senators in asking the Federal Communications
Commission to investigate the "ridiculous prices"
pay-television and broadband services charge,
International Business Times
Sanders, along with along with Democratic Sens. Al Franken
of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of
Massachusetts, wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in
which the group cited the lack of competition and the
companies' mini-monopolies. Sanders said the current situation
allows providers to charge high prices, which makes consumers
Sanders and his colleagues also called on the FCC to examine
the prices rural customers pay versus those who live in urban
What is Sanders asking for?
While calling for lower cable prices in the middle of a
presidential race seems a bit like pandering, it's not out of
character for Sanders. The Vermont senator has always been a
bit of a populist who sides with individuals.
Bernie Sanders. Source:
In this case, while the timing is perhaps fortuitous for
him, it's hard to argue with his point.
"We need healthy competition to foster innovation and ensure
fair prices for consumers," the
states. "At the very least, Americans should be able to
understand the price of the product they are buying and what
their neighbors are paying for the same service."
Sanders and his Senate colleagues who issued the letter also
pointed out that consumers deserve transparency.
"In addition to steeply rising prices, consumers are often
unaware of the various fees that are tacked onto their monthly
bills because of the lack of transparency in pricing," the
letter states. "To cite just one example,
Time Warner Cable
began charging a cable modem rental fee in 2012 of $3.95
a month. TWC then raised the price to $5.99 a month in 2013.
Today it charges $8 a month, a 203% increase in three years'
It's probably also worth noting (though Sanders doesn't
point it out) that TWC does nothing to let customers know they
can buy a modem for around $100 and not pay the rental fee at
Is it just politics?
Sanders has made some gains in his race against Clinton and by
being out front on cable prices, Sanders clearly establishes
himself as the candidate for the middle class and the working
Clinton hasn't publicly taken a stand on cable prices. While
she probably agrees with Sanders, her efforts to court
left-leaning Republicans in the general election may keep her
from taking an openly anti-business stand. That leaves an issue
that resonates with a portion of the public to her opponent.
Cable companies are among the least popular businesses in the
country, and in some cases disliking them probably even crosses
Sanders could shape the debate. The idea that cable prices
are too high has been a rising tide since the FCC blocked TWC's
. It's something the FCC should examine, and with pressure from
the Senate, it very well may.
This is not a crackpot candidate screaming that "the rent is
too damn high." This is a political maverick asking the FCC to
do what government is supposed to do -- protect the people.
3 Companies Poised to Explode When Cable
Cable is dying. And there are 3 stocks that are poised to
explode when this faltering $2.2 trillion industry finally
bites the dust. Just like newspaper publishers, telephone
utilities, stockbrokers, record companies, bookstores, travel
agencies, and big box retailers did when the Internet swept
away their business models. And when cable falters, you don't
want to miss out on these 3 companies that are
positioned to benefit.
for their names. Hint: They'renot the ones you'd
Bernie Sanders Thinks Your Cable Bill Is Too
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has no position in any stocks mentioned. He pays too much for
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